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Poor Adam Gaudette, and 7 other thoughts as the Canucks smoke the Sens

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It was a great night for some...but not for all.

Ottawa Senators v Vancouver Canucks
Olli Juolevi #48 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammate Tanner Pearson #70 after scoring his first NHL goal during their NHL game against the Ottawa Senators at Rogers Arena on January 25, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Hopefully the Vancouver Canucks were able to let off some steam after their 7-1 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators.

However, some are still visibly showing their frustrations.

Here are a few of my ruminations after last night’s game. And, if you haven’t already, make sure you read our recap, written by a man much wittier than myself.

Poor Adam Gaudette

Adam Gaudette wasn’t terrible when he was in the lineup. He currently leads the Canucks in scoring-chances per-60, and the Braintree native was probably unlucky to come away with one goal in six games.

That being said, he’s still a defensive liability, and it’s clear from last year’s playoffs that this team trusts Brandon Sutter in the middle more than Gaudette.

This team wants Gaudette to figure it out. That’s why he started the season back in the third-line centre spot. However, he was part of the Canucks turnover problem, and he seems even further removed from a line-up spot after Sutter’s hat trick last night.

Lotto Line still showing frustration

It was a good night for many of the Canucks.

Once again, that didn’t include the top line.

They lost the possession battle, once again, they didn’t look dangerous, and they were on the ice for the Canucks only goal against on the night (against the Senators fourth line, no less).

Nothing’s been going right for that unit at five-on-five. It’s starting to show, like when Miller angrily smashed his stick over his own crossbar after he was called for slashing.

Juolevi trying to be like Quinn

Last night, Olli Juolevi became the 50th player drafted in 2016 to score an NHL goal.

It was an awesome moment for the 22-year-old defenceman, who couldn't hide his grin after the goal.

One thing I’ve noticed about Juolevi so far this season, is that he pinches and joins the attack in the offensive zone more than I thought he would. He ended up down low on a couple of occasions last night. We also saw him do this against Calgary, when he was near the goal line during Jake Virtanen’s goal.

Perhaps he’s just trying to make the most of his ice time, considering that Green is still sheltering his minutes.

Speaking of rookies...

Keep it up, Nils.

The line of Bo Horvat, Tanner Pearson and Nils Hoglander was the Canucks best once again tonight. They’re picking up the slack of the slumping Lotto Line, and a big reason for that is because of Hoglander.

In the far-too-early Calder watch, Hoglander is tied for third in rookie points with four, trailing only Minnesota Wild forward Kiril Kaprizov and New Jersey Devils defenceman Ty Smith, who each have six points.

There’s the fourth line we know and love

Last night wasn’t a great night for either The Lotto Line, or the Canucks fourth line.

Tyler Motte did score a goal — his third of the young season — but that line was dominated overall.

The main culprits in Ottawa that hemmed the Canucks fourth line? It was the deadly trio of Connor Brown, Chris Tierney and Tim Stutzle. They were also out-chanced 8-1 with Thomas Chabot on the ice.

A deceiving effort

A 7-1 win looks convincing on paper, but, like many blowouts, it was close for most of the game.

The shot attempts and chances for both teams were fairly even through two periods, with Ottawa holding a slight edge. However, Sutter’s second goal — the shorthanded tally late in the second, appeared to be the backbreaker.

From the third period onwards, the Sens didn’t have much pushback (aside from the needless wrestling matches).

Believe in Demko

Despite the offensive outburst, the main reason why the Canucks won the game was because of Demko’s heroics.

It was yet another night where the Canucks gave up too many good chances and odd-man rushes, but Demko was solid nonetheless in a win that bumped his save percentage up to .890 on the season.

Somehow, that’s currently the best save percentage of any goaltender in this series between the Sens and the Canucks.

The turning point in the game was probably the save below that Demko made shorthanded. Sutter would go on to score shorthanded mere seconds later.

I still believe that Demko can emerge as one of the best goaltenders in Canada, and he’ll need more nights like this if that’s going to be the case.